RARA-AVIS: re: mars and venus

From: Carrie Pruett ( pruettc@hotmail.com)
Date: 02 May 2002

George wrote:

>That having been said, however, I wonder whether it's
>possible to generalize some of the things women like
>about h-b fiction versus those things men like?

Well, starting on a very superficial and "duh" level, there's the way we respond to characters - the ones we'd like to be, the ones we'd like to know, the ones we'd like to *really* get to know, the ones who scare us to death. And they're generally going to be different characters depending on the gender and sexual orientation of the reader. It's the same principle by which men and women, straight or gay, respond to different actors different ways. Like, more women'll turn out for a Meg Ryan movie and more men for Angelina Jolie, more men for Steven Seagal and more women for Keanu or Tom Cruise. Actors who are "too pretty" get a stigma among male viewers, while actresses who are too young or perfect or curvy don't attract as many female fans.
(reminds me of a great quote about Billy Bob Thornton's character in Monster's ball: Like most racist white men, he hates black people but he loves Halle Berry).

Or on the HB adaptation front (oh yes, ontopicity!), completely anecdotal, but the men and women I know seemed about equally likely to appreciate the film of "LA Confidential" but the guys all seemed to like Jack and Dudley or even Exley best, while the women were all into Bud. And it's not just a sexy actor thing, it's that whole wounded vulnerability in the character that appeals to female reader/viewers. (and then Russell started making Gladiator movies and Spacey, once a man's actor if there ever was one - and no I don't mean anything by that! - making tear jerkers. you figure it out). I should also say that I know lots of guys but no women who are big Ellroy fans, yet Bud is the only character who was essentially unchanged from page to screen and the one that Ellroy has said he feels closest to. again, figure it out.



He got thirty years for lovin' her/ from some Oklahoma governor,/ who said
"everything this doughboy does is wrong" - Tom Waits

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